May 4, 2022
From Alternative Bristol (UK)

Those radical troublemakers, sorry historians, at Bristol Radical History Group, have issued a press release! Read on – because you are all invited!

After a three year break due to the Covid pandemic, the Bristol Radical History Festival returns, refreshed, to the M Shed on Saturday 14 May to pick up where it left off.

This entails a day of talks, panels, films, history walks, stalls, an exhibition and a wee bit of singing to stir our rebel souls.
A Bristol Radical History Group co-founder said they wanted visitors to come away from the festival saying “Blimey, I didn’t know that”, and to follow that up by asking “why didn’t I know that?”

The 2022 festival has two main themes, where once again we will reveal hidden histories, debate and agitate for a future of better pasts. We will be looking at the state and private surveillance of labour and social movements. From the fears of the French revolution spreading to Britain in the 1790s to the spycops scandal that broke in the 2010s, we will see how the state has attempted to neutralise, suppress and stymie progressive movements it perceives to be a threat.
The other is the Hidden Histories of Post War Britain 1945-51. In the popular imagination this was the golden era of the welfare state under a reforming Labour government. But we will attempt to the show another story – of popular movements from mass squatting of army bases to the campaign against ID cards and the death penalty to the hidden histories of the Windrush generation.
If you need to take a breather there are also history walks, taking in the landmarks associated with the Fall of Colston (at 11.30am), and the Bristol counterculture of the 1960s and 70s (at 1pm) that have connections to a young Angela Carter. There are also films and a special performance by Bristol’s only socialist choir Red Notes at midday.

This is the fourth such festival at the M Shed. As usual, there will also be space devoted to stalls on the museum’s level 1 foyer where you can stock up on pamphlets, books and more, from over 20 publishers and distributors.

The event is free and whether you are a serious history fan, a curious first timer, or just want to learn from the past to win in the future – all are welcome.

Bristol Radical History Group have been active in the city for over 15 years since our inaugural Radical History Week in October 2006. Since then we have helped organise over 500 events and published over 60 pamphlets and books. Our events have always been free or of minimal cost and are organised by local people from Bristol and NOT funded by universities, political parties, business or local government. To break even we rely on our members giving their labour for free and sales from our publications.

More information about the festival and BRHG can be found on our website at Bristol Radical History Festival.

(AltBristol note – removed personal contact details from press release; added in additional links; all images c/o BRHG)